Unbiased review of Nest Doorbell’s features, performance, and limitations... Read more
Test of Google Nest Doorbell (Battery) – Snow (Open Box)
- Easy installation process
- Solid build quality
- Good audio and video quality
- AI features for detection
- Waterproof design
- Ability to customize notifications and settings
- Limited device compatibility
- Subscription required for optimum use
- Misleading information about subscription service
- Issues with notification limitations
- Long battery charging time
- Inconsistent Wi-Fi connectivity
“After spending ample time with the Nest Battery Doorbell, I’ve found it to be a robust and worthwhile investment, especially for existing Nest subscribers. Its variety of features, like facial recognition and person detection, are its shining points. However, its limited compatibility raises some concerns. While the video and audio quality impress, the subscription requirement for optimal functionality might deter some potential buyers. All in all, it’s a solid doorbell, but not without its flaws. Its purchase ultimately boils down to individual needs and willingness to invest in the subscription service.”
Why trust Shaper Mint Review? Our analysts and reviewers specialists spend their days testing products and analyzing other users’ experiences to help you find a verified unbiased opinion on the product. See how we review
|Product Dimensions||0.9″D x 1.8″W x 6.3″H|
|Controller Type||Google Home|
|Special Feature||Portable, Night Vision|
Introduction: Unboxing the Nest Doorbell
Upon first glance, the Nest Doorbell presents itself in a slick, minimalistic packaging – a clear indication of what awaits inside the box. Housed within the package are a couple of major components: the doorbell itself, a charging cable, and notably, an angled bracket to adjust the camera’s viewing angle.
A few major details
The doorbell, which is the star of the show, boasts sturdy construction and comes in four different colors. There’s no room for customization here, so select the color you want carefully as there are no removable face-plates available. It also includes a fully waterproofed external casing: a thoughtful feature for those worried about weather damage. The large button to ring the doorbell glows intuitively when someone approaches, indicating where visitors should press.
However, a critical note of concern is the absence of an option for a plug-in chime device – a feature that some competing brands offer. Without an external or built-in chime feature, the only way to hear the doorbell would be through a connected phone or Nest home speaker.
Ideal users for the Nest Doorbell
From the onset, it appears that the Nest Doorbell is overwhelmingly designed for users who already have a Nest speaker, display, or those ready to use their phones frequently. If you are not among any of these categories, you might want to reconsider this purchase or be prepared to procure one of these devices. We’ll delve deeper into the compatibility aspect later in this review, but it’s essential to keep this top of mind as you consider the Nest Doorbell.
In the interest of delivering an unbiased review, it’s fair to point out these points that could impact a buying decision. Transparency about the product and its fit into one’s existing ecosystem of devices is important in enabling a purchaser in making an informed choice.
Personal experience with the Nest Doorbell
- Nest Doorbell offers seamless wireless, smart experience
- Suffers from limited video storage without subscription
- Mixed reviews on usefulness and value for money
As a tech enthusiast, I always aim for a seamless smart home experience. My expectations were high when I purchased the Nest Doorbell, particularly because of its no-strings-attached wireless installation, and it seemed to fit perfectly within my existing Google smart home ecosystem.
Purchase process and initial thoughts
Upon unboxing, I was immediately drawn to its sleek design, making it the perfect modern addition to my home. However, it was packaged with bare essentials – having minimal installation gear and little additional equipment.
False assumptions about subscription service
However, my initial positive impressions started to dwindle as soon as I delved deeper into its workings; particularly those concerning its subscription service . My initial assumption was that the doorbell would work just fine without an ongoing subscription, which turned out to be partially inaccurate. I was surprised to learn that video storage, a critical component of any security device, was greatly limited without a subscription, retaining the data for a mere three hours before deletion.
Re-evaluating initial impressions
The three-hour video storage limit was a major setback. For instance, if someone lurked around my property at 2 AM and I woke up at 6 AM, the video would have been deleted an hour before I woke up. This limitation practically makes the device redundant if you’re not ready to pay an ongoing subscription fee to Nest and Google. It raised questions on potential implications, specifically for those who work long hours or travel frequently.
Despite these initial setbacks, the Nest Doorbell did have a few saving graces. The endearing features include quick notifications, easy installation, and impressive video quality.
The bottom line is I had a mixed bag of experiences with the Nest Doorbell. While some aspects of this home device impressed me, other elements left me questioning its overall usefulness and value for money.
Product Features of the Nest Doorbell
- Nest Doorbell offers two to three months battery life
- Video settings provide selective recording based on movement
- Lacks plug-in chime device, challenges in noise alerts
During my exploration of the Nest Doorbell, I set my hands on its impressive features, which are designed to enhance its usefulness and offer an engaging user experience. However, diving into these features wasn’t all rainbows; there were a few hiccups I stumbled on that potential buyers should know about.
Price comparison with competitors
The Nest Doorbell is priced at 179, which puts it slightly ahead of other entry-level doorbells in the market, such as the Ring doorbell for instance. Given its features and capabilities, you might find the price quite justifiable. Nonetheless, it’s paramount to carefully consider whether the value the product offers aligns with your specific needs and budget.
Battery Life and Charging Time
One of the feature highlights that immediately stood out to me was the integrated battery, making the installation hassle-free as it does not need wiring. Google claims it can run for about two to three months before requiring charging, which, of course, can vary based on the frequency of usage. However, I found the charging time to be a bit of a letdown; it took roughly about five hours to reach a full charge.
Video and Notification Settings
I liked the Nest Doorbell’s video settings and notification options. The doorbell records video only when it detects something, preventing unnecessary footage and aiding in better battery life. However, this feature might not be suitable for those looking for continuous recording.
Notable pros and cons of the device
- Pros: I found the Nest Doorbell’s build quality impressive – solid and durable. It comes in four different colors and is waterproof, making it ideal for outdoor use. The device illuminates when someone approaches it, intuitively inviting them to press it. It requires wi-fi to operate but continues to work even when the internet goes down, storing about an hour of footage – a feature I found particularly useful.
- Cons: Using the Nest Doorbell did reveal some downsides. Notably, there seems to be a lack of a plug-in chime device. Unless you have a Nest home speaker or a Nest home with a screen, knowing when someone is at your door can be a challenge. This is an area where the product can definitely use improvement.
Therefore, my analysis of the product features suggests that while the Nest Doorbell shines in some aspects, it has some drawbacks that might be deal-breakers for some prospective buyers. Overall, it’s always advisable to diligently assess your unique requirements before settling on a particular product.
Performance and Use Cases
- Nest Doorbell integrates well with other Google Nest devices
- Installation process is straightforward and user-friendly
- Video and audio quality provides a decent experience
As someone who regularly peruses home automation and security solutions, I was particularly intrigued by the telltale promise of the Nest Doorbell. Let’s get into my personal experiences with the doorbell, to fully articulate the performance and use cases of the product that readily aligns with its advertised features and boasts.
How it Fits into a Home Ecosystem
When integrated into your existing home setup, the Nest Doorbell certainly plays its role. The seamless connection with my Android and iOS devices allowed for instant access and control. It’s adequate if you already have a home setup that comprises of Google Nest devices. However, the lack of compatibility with non-Nest devices was a limitation for me. It took a while to get it in sync with the rest of my home tech stack.
Ease of Installation
The installation process was a breeze; the manual was explicit and helpful. The doorbell came with a key and a bracket to screw into the house. The handy key allowed for easy removal of the device from the bracket whenever I needed to charge the device. A Phillips head screwdriver can also be used if you ever misplace the key, a detail I found to be rather thoughtful.
Wi-Fi Compatibility and Considerations
The doorbell operates with 2.4 GHz and also connected seamlessly to my 5 GHz Wi-Fi. Remember that the strength of Wi-Fi signal can significantly impact the doorbell’s performance. I found it pretty impressive that it continues to operate even when the internet goes down, recording about an hour of footage sans a Wi-Fi signal. That’s a definite plus for continuous home security purposes.
Video and Audio Quality Experience
Now onto video and audio quality. The vertical video format, shot at 30 frames per second, gives a decent viewing experience. It has a night vision mode which comes in handy during low lighting conditions. The audio quality via the inbuilt microphone and speaker was commendable. I’ve had no complaints so far on the receiving end of the doorbell conversations. The conversational feature, although decent, requires constant activation. You need to keep the microphone button pressed to have a dialogue with the visitor.
Deciphering the product’s limitations
- Nest Doorbell has limited device compatibility
- Notifications have audible limits without Nest Home devices
- Without subscription, clips stored for only three hours
Like any technology product, the Nest Doorbell isn’t free from few limitations. While overall the device does what it promises, there remain certain aspects that I found a bit challenging during my usage.
Limited device compatibility issues
One of the main issues that struck me is the limited device compatibility. It only seems to work with the Google Home App on Android and iOS at the moment. I tried but couldn’t get it to work with my Amazon system. There’s also no evident compatibility with HomeKit. Thus, as a user if you possess an array of smart devices, especially non-Google ones, keep in mind this could be a potential limitation.
Another notable issue is related to the notifications. While the phone applications do the job accurately, I noticed a weakness when relying on internal audio warnings. Without a Nest Home Speaker or a Nest Home device, it becomes a challenge to hear your doorbell from inside your house when someone presses the button. This might compel you to purchase one of the aforementioned devices, leading to additional costs.
Long-term implications and usage concerns
Are you someone who likes to review the recorded clips at a convenient time? Be prepared for disappointment as it turns out, without the subscription, they only store clips for three hours. This implies, if something happens at midnight, and you wake up at 6 am, the video would already be scrubbed from the memory. This effectively turns an otherwise useful product into a mere decoration if you’re not paying the subscription fee. This can indeed be a major drawback, strongly depending on your usage patterns.
In summary, while the doorbell does offer many impressive features, these limitations are certainly worth considering before investing in the product.
Delving into Customization and Settings
- Nest Doorbell customization offers ease and frustration
- Detection options provide scope for personalization
- Audio settings allow a personalized user experience
The Nest Doorbell is a tech gadget designed for users interested in tailoring their consumer experience according to their lifestyles. My hands-on experience delving into the customization settings has been a mix of equal parts ease and frustration.
Overview of the App Interface
The Nest app is fairly intuitive, with features divided into clear categories. Transitioning between each function within the app was smooth, and I could seamlessly find options to change settings or view footage. However, the simplicity of the app interface also seemed to limit the depth of customization I was expecting.
Personalizing Detection and Notification Settings
The ‘events’ section particularly caught my attention. Here, you can set which events you wish to be notified about. This includes everything from people detection to package detection and even animal detection. If you live in an area where animals frequently pass by, having this alert can be convenient yet unnecessary in urban settings.
You can also enable ‘activity zones’, a feature that allows you to mark specific regions of the camera’s field of vision for motion detection. This would be extremely useful if you want to closely monitor particular areas and avoid unnecessary alerts.
- Pro: The array of detection options provide ample scope for personalization.
- Con: There’s no option to adjust the sensitivity of the detections, leading to possible false alerts.
Tweaking Video and Audio Settings for Optimal Usage
The quality of the video can be adjusted via the settings. Impressively, even at default (‘high’), the quality was satisfactory and I found little need to crank it up ‘max’ setting. Here, I could also adjust the night vision and status light intensity.
Audio settings were equally easy to manipulate. The app allows you to decide when to use the mic – whether all the time or only when you’re talking to someone at the door. You can even change the volume of the speaker, tuning it to a level that suits you.
- Pro: The various audio settings allow for a more personalized user experience.
- Con: Some might find the audio settings overcomplicated and unnecessary.
In sum, the Nest Doorbell does provide a decent array of customization options, albeit with a few shortfalls. Its simplicity can be a boon for the less tech-savvy, while the absence of deeper settings could potentially irritate more advanced users.
Unbiased Verdict: The Nest Doorbell for you?
- Nest Doorbell ideal for existing Google Nest users
- Subscription service and initial price considerations
- Good features, limited compatibility, mandatory subscription
In my quest to provide you with an unbiased assessment, I have been using the Nest Doorbell for several weeks, which has allowed me to experience all its features and understand its limitations more profoundly. As an experienced user, if I were to highlight one primary factor to consider, it would be: Do you already own any Nest products or are you willing to invest in one?
Ideal Target Users
As I have discovered through this journey, the Nest Doorbell is ideal if you’re already bought into the Google Nest ecosystem. This doorbell’s features and functionality integrate seamlessly with other Nest products, making it a worthwhile addition for existing users. Plus, the subscription fees become substantially more justifiable when spread across other Nest devices in your home.
The Investment Considerations
- Subscription Service: It’s important to be aware that without the subscription service, the Nest Doorbell loses much of its appeal. The 3-hour window for video storage can feel incredibly limited, especially if you’re not constantly checking. Therefore, factor in the cost of an ongoing subscription before making a purchase.
- Initial Price: While higher than some competitors, the build quality, design, and features do warrant its initial price tag. Plus, the variety of colours and the overall aesthetic can be a selling point for those seeking a doorbell that also contributes to their home’s exterior design.
The Verdict: Pros Outweigh Cons?
Overall, I believe the Nest Doorbell is a competent choice—for the right user. It offers an array of customisation options, delivers quality video and sound, and its smart detection features – like package detection and person alerts – are well-executed and accurate. Its downsides, primarily limited compatibility and the mandatory subscription for full functionality, are significant and may be a deterrent for some users. However, if you’re already in the Google Nest ecosystem, these issues are less of a concern.
In conclusion, the Nest Doorbell is a robust and reliable product with a decent feature set. All said, I suggest weighing these considerations against your needs, budget, and smart-home ecosystem before making a purchase decision.
Conclusion: Wrapping up the Nest Doorbell review
In conclusion, the Nest Doorbell is a robust piece of tech with a host of noteworthy features and a few limitations. While it offers some endearing elements, particularly for existing Nest subscribers, it falls a bit short for users aiming for a broader smart home system. Furthermore, some finer elements might be a hard sell for users who are not already a part of the Google ecosystem.
The battery life is impressive, the video and audio quality are top-notch, and the AI features are quite advanced. Its person, package, and animal detection features are innovative, adding an extra layer of home security that is not often seen with competitor brands.
The installation was straightforward, and the build quality was solid.
The restrictive compatibility of the doorbell proves challenging, limiting its integration with other smart-home devices like Amazon ecosystem and Apple HomeKit. It would be more appealing if it seamlessly merged into various smart home setups.
The subscription service details can be initially misleading, potentially leading to perceived value reduction for users who would rather avoid ongoing fees.
Despite the shortcomings, I believe the positives outweigh the negatives. However, while it brings fascinating features to the table, the decision to purchase must weigh heavily on the individual user’s needs. Primarily, it is best for users who are willing to pay the subscription fee, alongside those already rooted in the Nest ecosystem.
As technology evolves, it is my firm belief that the product can improve, particularly in areas of compatibility and subscription services. Overall, the Nest Doorbell offers a strong entry into the smart home device arena, and with enhancements, it has the potential to become an undisputed market leader.
Should you buy the Google Nest Doorbell (Battery) – Snow (Open Box)?
Buy it if…
You’re already a Nest subscriber
The Nest Doorbell serves as an excellent addition for current Nest users and integrates seamlessly with existing Nest home devices.
You value high-quality footage
The device delivers clear and sharp video recordings, both in daylight and in total darkness, ensuring you never miss any activity.
You prioritize ease of installation
The installation process of the Nest Doorbell is straightforward, easy, and does not require any extra wiring, making it a convenient choice for hassle-free setup.
Don’t buy it if…
Subscription costs are a deal-breaker
The value of the doorbell significantly decreases without an ongoing subscription to Nest services, as video clips are not stored past three hours.
You don’t own any Google Nest compatible devices
The doorbell’s compatibility is relatively limited, being optimized for the Google Nest devices, which means without one, you won’t even hear the doorbell ring.
Continuous video recording is a must
This device only records when it detects motion or when someone pushes the doorbell, making it unsuitable for those needing 24/7 footage.
- Does the Nest Doorbell require a subscription service?
Yes, the Nest Doorbell requires a subscription service to store videos longer than three hours, as videos get deleted from the server after three hours without a subscription.
- What is the battery life of the Nest Doorbell?
The Nest Doorbell’s battery life is about two to three months and the charging time is around five hours.
- Does the Nest Doorbell only work with other Nest devices?
At the time of the review, the Nest Doorbell’s compatibility was limited primarily to other Nest devices. It does not work with Amazon systems and Apple Homekit.
- Does the Nest Doorbell have night vision capabilities?
Yes, the Nest Doorbell has night vision capabilities. It has an infrared illuminator that can pick up images up to approximately 10 feet away, even in total darkness.
- Can the Nest Doorbell recognize faces?
Yes, but only with a Nest Aware subscription. It can recognize faces and even label the clips with the person’s name.
- Does the Nest Doorbell work when the internet goes down?
Yes, it can record about an hour of footage when it doesn’t have a Wi-Fi signal.
- How does the installation process work for the Nest Doorbell?
The Nest Doorbell installation process is simple. It comes with a bracket that you screw into your house, then you simply snap the device onto the bracket.